The Weak Rule

Photo by James Douglas on Unsplash

Palm Sunday


Philippians 2:5-11 
Non-Christians ignore the Gospels. Most consider them to be fabrications. They may accept Jesus as a great teacher, but they believe his followers dreamed up the notion of resurrection and built a false religion out of it.

The key detail is the resurrection. Is it to be accepted?

As a historian, I see the Four Gospels as trustworthy sources. They differ in their accounts, which is common. It is the nature of the differences that matter. If, for example, one source told us George Washington was 6-2 and another put him at 5-10, we would ignore the difference while accepting each source as equal. But if one said he was white, and another put him down as black, serious study would be required. Multiple sources always have differences. We cannot throw one away because it does not read the way we want.

Forty to sixty years after Jesus left earth, the Gospels were written. There was limited communication; record keeping was expensive, oral histories dominated. Historians agree the four authors received their information from different sources, with some overlapping. That alone accounts for discrepancies.

Even so, accepting the four detailed accounts of the execution and resurrection as history, as the Truth, depends on Faith. The Christian Scriptures consists of 27 documents. The authors of most are in question (including the Four Gospels). How can we say they are authentic?

As a writer of Christian fiction, how do we deal with the Faith issue? I think we must allow our protagonists to doubt, even to disbelieve the fantastic tale of the resurrection. I choose not to accept the beliefs of Hindu and Buddhist people about reincarnation, often as lower life forms. Why can’t I have a character who believes it? Why can’t he be my protagonist? I reject Mohammed is greater than Jesus, but my character might accept it.

We read in verses 10-11 of Paul’s letter, so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the FatherNJB

Paul uses the all-inclusive language used by Jesus, all beings, those in Heaven, but also those in Hell. How can we implement such inclusion in a story?

Verses 5-11holds the key: Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be. For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God’s equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal manPhillips

I read few stories where the protagonist is an example of Christ. We make sure they win by being the biggest, strongest, smartest, or most beautiful. What about winning through weakness?

The other scriptures for today are:

Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Mark 14:1-15:47


Read my earlier comments on this theme here.


Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

Evidence of Mercy

This book is the first of four in the Sun-Coast Chronicles, all published from 1995 to 1997. They are openly Christian stories which include at least one person becoming a Christian by story’s end.

I am a Christian and I like a story that includes a Christian message. But I don’t care for the in-your-face approach of this book and many others. Blackstock has sold over six million copies of her many books and this one is still listed on Amazon  as

This was her first effort in the religious mystery genera so I should cut her some slack. The story is fast-paced. Her hero, Lynda, faces death three times, including the opening plane crash that leaves self-centered Jake paralyzed. As the story progresses, her character arc is about recovering her Christian upbringing, trying to support Jake in his physical rehab, and leading him to Christ. In addition, she is the lawyer representing a battered woman trying to protect her child.

The key weakness in the storyline was the lack of red herrings. It was easy to figure out who was trying to kill her. Blackstock did shield the reader from his identity early on, but without credible alternatives, it did not last.

Overall, I liked the story. I would have liked it better if Lynda had done less preaching. Subtle is the word that comes to mind.

Mike Lawrence